Festival of family

A SHEERWATER school was a blaze of brilliant colour and amazing music on Saturday when the Woking Malayalee Association hosted their second Union of UK Malayalee Associations’ Family Festival.

The national event was inaugurated at the Bishop David Brown School by the borough’s Mayor Tony Branagan.

PEAK PERFORMANCES – Malayalee Association members with MP Jonathan Lord, and Mayor and Mayoress Tony and Mary Branagan

PEAK PERFORMANCES – Malayalee Association members with MP Jonathan Lord, and Mayor and Mayoress Tony and Mary Branagan

Among the guests were his Mayoress wife Mary, Woking MP Jonathan Lord, popular Malayalam movie director Boban Samuel, UUKMA National President Viji KP, National General Secretary Binsu John and founder UUKMA President of Varghese John (Sunny) .

THEY’RE GETTING THE MESSAGE – the Union of UK Malayalee Associations (UUKMA) came together in Sheerwater

THEY’RE GETTING THE MESSAGE – the Union of UK Malayalee Associations (UUKMA) came together in Sheerwater

Kicking off to the rhythm of the chenda melam drums, played by Joel Joseph and Shinto, traditional dress formed the backdrop of the colourful event.

An assortment of dances and various art forms from across the state of Kerala in south west India was the staple for the day.

Kerala, also called God’s Own Country, is known for its rich and vibrant dance and art forms. Participants included winners of last year’s National Kalamela (cultural competitions) held in Liverpool.

CAPTIVATED – teacher Mira Mani gives one of the dancers a helping hand

CAPTIVATED – teacher Mira Mani gives one of the dancers a helping hand

The Woking Malayalee Association also launched their annual souvenir magazine during the event, which was attended by more than 350 members of Malayalee organisations across the country.

It was covered by popular Malayalam channel, Anand TV.

LET THERE BE LIGHT – the traditional lamp is lit by the Mayor and Mayoress with National UUKMA Secretary Binsu John and President Mr Varghese John

LET THERE BE LIGHT – the traditional lamp is lit by the Mayor and Mayoress with National UUKMA Secretary Binsu John and President Mr Varghese John

Committee member Suhas Hydros said: “It was very colourful. The best thing was that it was attended by people from all over the country.

“Everyone, including children, worked hard towards it, which made its success so worthwhile.”

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